27 July 2020

Summer Jam 2020 Week 12: A Cool Week in the Mountains

I can feel Summer winding down already. Winter is coming, people. And guaranteed, we will go from 90 degree days straight to negative twenty. It's the way of the horrible world now. But we still have some sizzling hot jams to get through! We have a few hot new ones this week along with some old favourites. Let's get to it!

Hot Jam of the Week: "Snowchild" by The Weeknd

All these Weeknd songs seem to be following some coherent storyline, or at least have him dressed the same. I haven't really watched them. This is a lot chiller than his earlier bops this summer, and like the next hot jam this week, doesn't seem like much of a summer track. It's also another one of the growing list of 2020 animated music videos - it's nice to see folks innovating during the age of Corona. I like it, it's not quite "Blinding Lights" but it's fine.

Second Hot Jam of the Week: "cardigan" by Taylor Swift

We were all set with The Weeknd, then Tay Sway decided to drop a surprise album. It's okay. This song is more her longfull ballad style, which she's maybe weaker at than her effervescent witty pop artistry. In terms of upbeat summer jams this is lacking, but its mournful tone perhaps suits 2020 better than bippier tracks. There is a lot coming out of this album, and we'll see if she has any late surge or domination. She's capable.

The lyrics to this jam really hit me this week. It's an incredibly dark and depressing song. But it's such a bop! I enjoyed jamming out to it this week but damn, it's such a monument to relationship despair and self-assessment. It's a marvel, and truly a completely 2020 song. It's doing okay chart-wise and I'm far from sick of it so far.

Speaking of longevity - it has been a very long time since we had a week without "Rockstar." Consistency in Summer 2020 is exceedingly rare. I'd be surprised if this manages to have a successful August - there is getting to be quite a bit of competition. I almost left it off this week, but it came on some Google playlists of mine, and I reflected how it was the #1 song in the country for so long, without real widespread recognition. It'll keep trucking.

This is another song that has been on and off, and I'm maybe giving it a lot of late credit. Megan Thee Stallion was also shot at this week, which is crazy. It's more of a Summer 2020 soundtrack jam than I've given it credit for and Beyonce certainly elevates any song she's attached to. I like the flow here more than the beat. It's probably a little out of style at this point, but we'll see if it hangs on any more.

What do we do with "Watermelon Sugar" at this point? It's maybe making a good case for itself, and doesn't really show any sign of going away, despite me predicting that a few weeks ago. It's really one of the only explicitly summer songs we've had this year, even if Summer 2020 has produced a handful of specific Summer 2020 songs. We'll see how everything eventually shakes out.

"death bed (coffee for your head)" by Powfu

I feel like I've known this song for years. This entered my purview a few weeks ago and it didn't even strike me as a new song. It's an awfully cute song with some Kanye-style vocals-as-beats. But it's so darn sweet. I think it's popular. Anyway, despite it sounding old, it's certainly fresh this week and I'd like to see it surge for a while.

"Wishing Well" by Juice WRLD

Juice WRLD has had a lot of charting songs this summer, particularly with a surging album over the last few weeks. The echoes of addiciton, depression, and refrain of "I can't breathe" resound in 2020. It doesn't even seem to explicitly be in reaction to George Floyd, but that's an inexporable link at this point. The track's been around for a time, but this week I realized that I had both listened to this a ton so far this summer and it's also hella relevant. This is a depressing week.

Next week...

I almost threw Dua Lipa on this again, but she just missed the cut. I'm curious if Taylor hangs on, although no track off folklore is traditional pop. Surely her getting back to some folk roots can be a good thing. And "exile" is tight as hell. There's a path there, but we'll see if Summer 2020 wants stripped down Taylor Swift music. Also her F-bomb on "betty." Yes, I listened to this whole album. Stay tuned, folks!

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